Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tues, Dec 22

Wow! That is all I can say. Your comments surely were God given to you. Debbie, your prayer was wonderful. Can't wait to put my arms around you...and maybe hear one of those prayers in person.

Everyone....and I do mean everyone of the comments spoke to me in some way. Thank you, thank you for caring....and reading.

Yesterday really wasn't bad. I took the girls and dropped them at the mall. I had some to do some stocking stuffing shopping at Target. It was lonely. I was alone. But I knew I had to do it. I would see couples discussing, or arguing over a gift...or something. And I would either giggle (John and I did that often) or drop a tear because I missed it.

We had dinner at Marilyns. I couldn't eat much. We had that appointment with the grief therapist at 7 and my stomach was in knots. Only because when I left the house I went into Matthews room and told him that we were going to dinner at grams, and he said he had other plans. That was fine. I understood. We hadn't even discussed dinner. But then when I said that we had that appointment, I could see the anger in his eyes, on his face. He asked, "If he had to go." I told him he didn't but I would like him to and I reminded him of what he said to Isaac when we first discussed therapy. "It won't hurt it could help us!" Well we left. I didn't know if he would come or not...I didn't expect him to.

He did. But he sat with a very angry look on his face. Going from the therapist (Eva) to me. Very angry...almost hateful. She is very sweet. Very soft spoken. Gave hugs to each child as they came in. Since this was our first time...she said she just wanted to touch base before Christmas. To see how we were doing with Christmas. All of the kids were quiet. Rach told how we would make them wait til daddy got the video camera up and then we allowed the kids to enter the room from youngest to oldest. Isaac said he remembered how we hung the stocking, boy, girl, boy girl with daddy being first. Hannah and Matthew chose not to share.

Then she asked if any of us had any dreams about daddy. Rach had one where he was in some movie. We giggled at that. But the one where I just broke down was Hannahs. She said, "I had a dream that I was at next years state cross country meet and as I ran through the finish line in first place daddy was there waiting for me." She just sobbed. I know that is where she hurts the most because he was her coach, her cheerleader, her dad, her mentor. She has lost him and doesn't know how to deal with not seeing him out there on the course...or in the stands.

Eva then explained to us that it is a good thing for us to journal....not like this...but to God. She spoke about how David did that in the Psalms. Sometimes he yelled, sometimes he cried, sometimes just sang and talked. But, he knew God heard him.

She advised that we do that. Then, that is where Matthew embarrassed me. She asked all of us if we cold do that. We all agreed. Matthew didn't. She specifically asked him if he would. He asked what the difference was between writing it down and praying. She explained that to him. He then said, "Do you do it?" She said she had and had been doing it since the death of her husband (16 years ago. She is now a certified therapist) He said, "Well, what is good for some may not be good for others". She told him that that was true, but that is what she found helpful to her.

She prayed with us and then Matthew and Hannah left. I stayed back and apologized for Matthews behavior. He had an attitude the minute he walked through the door. But she said she understood. She said, he is grieving....we just need to pray for him.

I got a text a few minutes later from Matthew that he said he couldn't go to her. I went to Jay and Marilyns. I felt all hope was gone. I can't hold this family together. I felt like everyone was going their own way....Matthew, Hannah, even Isaac said he wouldn't go back. Jay, Marilyn and I cried together. I was very honest when I said, I just want to give up. I can't do this.

It is one thing to have to deal with Johns death. But to have to deal with Matthew....I can't. It is too much. It is just too much.

My mind is boggled again. I can't pray. I try to read......but all I can think about is how am I going to be a mom to this family that doesn't want to work together to heal. We are all going our own ways.

Marilyn keeps begging me to lay Matthew at the feet of Jesus. It is so hard when I know he is hurting and he won't let me help. He hasn't hugged me once since the service. OH, how I want him to hug me. Eva shared last night that at her low point, after the death of her husband, she was crying and her 17 year old came in and asked her what he could do to help. I said to her, and Marilyn later..."OH, how I would love for one of the my kids to come and put their arms around me and ask I'm doing, or how can they help? But Matthew seems too angry, Hannah is too busy with her friends, Isaac does hug some, Rachel is my hugger. But, and I don't know if any of you understand this but, if I just felt like Matthew had some feelings....any feelings.....but he seems cold and uncaring. Like my sister said, he has built a wall around his heart....around him. I love him so much...if he only knew how much I would love a hug from him.....

I went to bed miserable last night. Not really knowing where he was. But, just wanting to love him and knowing I couldn't.

I hate to face today. Just not knowing what I face with him makes me weary and I just want to cover my head and hide. Let this all pass. Let it all go But I can' pray for me.

Pray for Matthew. That God would somehow soften his heart. That someone would come into his life that he could open up to. He won't go back to Eva.

Pray for Hannah. That the pain she feels, the worries on her shoulders would be lifted during this Christmas.

Pray for Isaac. That as he looks at the stockings, he won't miss daddy's.

Pray for Rachel. She hold tight to me. She cries with me. But I don't want that to hurt her. I pray that as she sees me experiencing the pain, the tears...that God would use it for His good and only to help her.

Pray for My relationship with Matthew. That I will have wisdom when to talk and when not to talk. To act and when not to act. To not be afraid to love him, even when he won't love me back.

Pray for an angel for each of my children. Someone that will fill that gap that has so brutally been made by the loss of John.


Pray for traveling mercies for my family. My brother left early yesterday to try to beat the storm. Pray for his safety. The rest, from Illinois left early this morning. Pray for them.

Pray that I can get through Christmas. I told Eva I want it to go away. But I know it can't. If I didn't have the would for me.

Oh God help us, help me. I need you to carry me.


Anonymous said...

Saundra, I haven't commented yet but I have read all of your posts and most of the comments by other people. I think it is AWESOME that you and John were still so crazy in love after 21 years together. His passing seems unbearable for your family, but I am praying God can bring something good out of your pain. He is your strength and fortress - lean on Him. I love you! Denise Sacket

Wanda said...

Saundra, I posted the entire song yesterday afternoon, but here is the part that came to my mind after reading your post this am.


"Lord, when you could have passed me by.
I'm asking' for your strength today. Lift my spirit, Lord, I pray.
Will you just hold me while I cry
You've always kept me safe from harm
Like a child in your arms
You've cradled me through hardships faced in life
It's just one of those days
I've been fought in every way
Would you hold me while I cry"

Fall into the arms of Jesus and, if only a moment, "Let Him hold you when you cry".

I agree with Marilyn...lay Matthew at Jesus feet. You can't help him grieve, but our Lord God Almighty can do's hard for us to take our hands off and let go and let Jesus.

I've been through tragedies, but NOTHING nothing like you're experiencing. However, during one of my hardest, I finally let it go... it wasn't easy, but when I turned my palms upward and told the Lord, "I can't do this alone anymore, here it is", the burden lifted. But I had to leave it with him and not pick it up again. I believe that's what God would like to do with Matthew.

Your family is in my prayers as they begin their travel to Bethany. I pray God will be with them in their cars and prepare them to be with you and the kids.

Please know, again, you are loved, Saundra.

Jadean Murray

Anonymous said...

i love Jadean's comment. All of us - palms up as we put Matthew in God's able hands. I believe he is a wonderful young man, and the waters he is navigating are colder than any of us could ever imagine.
mercy and understanding and miracles for matthew, john's firstborn, today. we love you, all.

david b mclaughlin said...

Hi Saundra,

Very touched reading your post today. My heart goes out to you trying to keep it all together.

I dont know if yuo know Dan Palmer but he is a licensed counselor. Maybe Matthew would do better talking to him since he is a guy. Just a thought.

Also, I wondered if maybe you could go ahead and put John's stocking up and have everybody write a letter to him or something and put them in there. I dont know if it would be a good idea or not. Just another thought. Maybe a bad one. I dont know.

We are still praying for you.


Grace Smith said...

Saundra, Today I am praying specifically for Matthew. I know words may not help right now, but maybe they will later. Jim was a little younger than Matthew when Dad was diagnosed with leukemia.

We went through shock, anger and despair. Then Jim retreated into the dorms and rarely came around.

Dad was in the hospital very close to death, but we couldn't find Jim. Someone called Chaplain Martin (Rick's Dad) and he tracked him down. Jim connected with his emotions.

The comparison is similar, yet so different since Dad lived longer and we had time to cope with the idea of his imminent death.

Here's an excerpt from a grief website that sounds similar to what Matthew may be going through now:

The storm of intense emotions of the second stage gives way to a period of heavy sadness, silence and withdrawal from family and friends."

I am in no way trying to say "we know how you feel", everyone's situation is unique and everyone grieves differently. I'm glad you are going to counseling and I pray Matthew will come around soon.

Still praying for all of your family.

Grace Smith said...

Saundra, I forgot to tell you I posted the Ray Boltz song you requested on my blog today. Just click on my name to go to:

I also wanted to ask your permission to show your blog on my list.

Anonymous said...

Saundra, there's so much I want to say but in some ways there just are no words to say it. I guess the best thing to say is that I continue to pray for you all the time. You are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. I pray that Matthew will be able to include you in his grieving process soon. Just as the therapist told you though - you don't need to be embarrassed or feel the need to apologize. His attitude and behavior may seem harsh or mean but he is just grieving - trying to deal with the loss of his daddy as best he can - and people understand that. I'm sure that's not easy to watch but just keep trusting that God can work it out in him. Lay him at Jesus' feet just as the others said. I'm praying for you and all of your kids as well as for your family's travels.

I love you!

Anonymous said...

I do not know you nor do I know the pain of what you are dealing with. But, as far as Matthew is concerned, maybe you need to let him have his space. That seems to be what he needs. He WILL figure this all out. He just needs time to do this. I think as a mother, you are trying to force his healing. This is not what he needs. He is old enough to decide WHAT he needs. Let him do as he pleases. He will come around.


Anonymous said...


During the last few years of my husband's cancer battle, I had a lady say she was called to pray specifically for my daughter who is now 17 years old. She seemed the most angry at God and I was so worried about her. Many tough days I know were handled because people were praying. I have chosen to concentrate on praying for Matthew. When you write about him, I can picture another face - my daughter's. God has been faithful and we continue to plug through this journey. I will pray the same for you. Only you and God know your son. I will pray God gives you wisdom as you love and parent him.


Kristie said...

Saundra, again I feel the need to preface this with "I don't pretend to understand what you are going through, or if my words will even help ...." but maybe, just maybe, its not so important if the family doesn't heal "together". Of course its important that everyone heal, but specifically I mean attend family therapy. I think, if you and any of the children feel you will gain something by seeing a therapist, you should. Definitely. Like someone else mentioned, I don't think you can force the others without causing resentment. But you know how when you are getting ready to take a flight, and the stewardess is giving the safety lecture about putting the air mask on yourself BEFORE helping anyone around you? Maybe this is a similar situation. Maybe you need to concentrate on helping yourself, through journaling or counseling or whatever helps, so that you are best capable of helping your children as they decide how, and when, they are ready.

Ultimately, I assume they are looking to you to see how to grieve. Maybe not ... maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about. But maybe the best example you can make for them is getting the help you need. If therapy helps you, I say continue it. Even if its just you. Or just you and Rachel. I can only imagine the anger all the kids are dealing with ... its one of the normal stages of grief, right? And if Matthew more than others, well, we'll all pray for him that he finds some way to break through it. But I really believe you're doing the right thing by at least trying, even if they're not all on board right now. In time, I think they will be.

Anonymous said...

There was a time when my 15 year old was very angry. Pastor dad was busy with everyone else's life except his family (1 boy, 3 girls). Never came to watch him play basketball or have a decent conversation about how he was doing. Thank God for some awesome men at the church that took the time every week to have a pickup basketball game. They pretty much made him go and played him to his limit. Pushed him harder any most moms would like to see, but it gave him a physical outlet for his pain and pent-up frustration. Men and boys are meant to be physical and do something. Does Matthew have an outlet where he can become totally physically spent and exhausted. To use every ounce of his energy on something. It is just a suggestion, but it would ease the mind to be more physical. I can't know your pain, but I do understand seeing all the couples and feeling that emptiness and longing. God longs for that relationship with you. May you feel God's embrace closer than anything you have felt before!

Anonymous said...

I came to your site from Kristie's site the day your beloved husband passed away. I have not commented, yet I have read every post. My heart is heavy today for your family, especially Matthew. I pray for healing for you and all of your children. As much as we, as mother's, would like to take the hurt and pain away from our babies, we can't. We have to let them find their healing in their own time and their own way. I pray that someone will come into Matthews life that can help him walk down this road he is on. A country song came to mind as I was reading your post tonight "Jesus take the wheel, I can't do this on my own". I repeat those words when I feel I can't do on my own!
God Bless your family.
~Debbie S.~
Hoover, AL